CSU Trustees Approve Fee Hike
March 16, 2007 6:49 PM
The 417,000 students attending Cal State universities were hit with a 10 percent tuition increase for the 2007-08 school year, the fifth hike in the last six years.
The CSU Board of Trustees voted 15-1 on Thursday to increase the undergraduate yearly student fees by $252, making annual fees $3,451 for undergraduates and $3,414 for graduate students in 2007-08.
Student fees increased each of the past six years, though the 8 percent hike was rescinded last year when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger provided additional funding. There is a possibility that the same thing could happen this year, according to Cal State spokesperson Paul Browning.
In setting up the terms of the increase, the trustees acknowledged that low-income students should be spared for the brunt of the fee hikes. About $38 million, or about a third of the money raised, is earmarked for financial aid so that "students with the greatest economic needs will not be affected," Browning said.
The additional fees are expected to raise $97 million next year for the CSU system, much of which will go towards paying for the additional cost of educating the increasing number of students, as well as pay increases for faculty, staff and administrators.
Though undergraduate student fees have risen 92 percent since the 2001-02 school year, CSU contends that its fees are still just over half what comparable U.S. universities are charging on average, which is $6665 per school year.
"We've always tried to provide a quality education at a low price in California," Browning said.
The price tag quickly became a source of stress for Tanaya Taylor, freshman physiology student, who wrote in an e-mail that she was tired of hearing about how "cheap" the university is and she is weary of having to come up with new ways to stretch the dollar.
"When you think about it, that's about half the cost of textbooks," she wrote. "There are better ways that the $25(2) could be used but that doesn't seem to matter to the people that make the decisions and continue to increase the cost of higher education."
The CSU is run on a $4 billion budget that comes primarily from the state's General Fund and from student fees.
When the governor released this fiscal year's budget in January, it showed that the CSU would again be underfunded and suggested a fee increase to make up the difference. The trustees agreed.
"Student fees are part of the overall revenue mix that is needed to sustain our outstanding university system," said CSU Board of Trustees chair Roberta Achtenberg in a press release.
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